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The Delhi High Court today issued notice to journalist Arnab Goswami in the defamation case filed against him by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
The Thiruvananthpuram MP filed the case after Goswami broadcasted certain tapes suggesting foul play in the death of Tharoor’s wife and socialite Sunanda Pushkar, on his newly launched Republic TV. She was found dead in her hotel room in January 2014.
Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Goswami, submitted that his client had invited the plaintiff on the show to put forth his side of the story.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice Manmohan observed that Shashi Tharoor was entitled to not appear on the show, and that he had the right to silence. He also observed that the defendants have the right to investigate the matter.
Earlier, Justice Manmohan had also questioned the Times Now Channel as to why they had not aired the Sunanda Pushkar tapes even though they were in possession of the same for over two years.
Senior Advocate and Congressman Salman Khurshid appeared for Shashi Tharoor. Referring to the reporting style of Goswami, he stated that the kind of language used by the defendants is unacceptable.
“I am not asking for a gag order but they cannot continue like this. The police has not reached any conclusion. He must be protected.”
Sethi assured the Court that his clients would justify their statements and that he would advise his clients to tone down the rhetoric.
The Court, while denying any interim relief, observed that the defendants cannot call Tharoor names.
The suit asks for Rs. 2 crore in damages for the defamatory remarks made by Goswami. It also seeks a permanent injunction against Republic to prohibit them from reporting any news in relation to Pushkar’s death, pending the investigation by the police.
It also points out previous instances of Goswami’s trysts with defamation and calls him a “repeat offender who continuously violates the journalistic ethics, norms and broadcasting standards”.
The case is now posted for August 16.
Read the suit: